It’s been just 24 hours since Dodge unveiled its new compact crossover. The Dodge Hornet promises impressive performance for under $30,000, and apparently it’s got some attention. According to Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis, 14,000 pre-orders have already been placed.
The entry-level model is expected to hit dealerships in late 2022, but in this case, entry level is still surprisingly fast. The Hornet GT is where it all begins, using a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 265 horsepower. This power is transmitted to the front wheels, resulting in a sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.5 seconds. As for the starting price, no specific numbers have been announced, but Dodge claims it’s the fastest compact crossover under $30,000.
The next step up from the GT is the Hornet R/T, and that’s where the electrification comes in. Featuring a 1.3-liter turbocharged engine for the front wheels, it adds a 90kW electric motor driving the rear for all-wheel drive. Combined power is 285hp, and in electric-only mode the Hornet R/T can go 35 miles on a full charge. For performance fans, a PowerShot feature adds a temporary 25hp boost, allowing the Hornet R/T to hit 60mph in 6.1 seconds.
Fans of the hot 1980s Dodge Omni GLH sedan received a pleasant surprise when the Hornet debuted. Although technically a concept vehicle, Dodge rolled out a Hornet GLH with a plethora of upgraded parts available through the company’s Direct Connection group. ECU tweaks, suspension kits, exhaust upgrades and GLH graphics present a version of the Hornet that could be created by buyers looking for a little more platform excitement. .
14,000 pre-orders in 24 hours is certainly nothing to sneeze at, but reader response in the comments section of our first Dodge Hornet article was mixed, to say the least. Sharing its platform with the Alfa Romeo Tonale, it seems some people think Dodge hasn’t done enough to differentiate the Hornet from its Italian sibling. We’ll see how that plays out in the coming months as the GT and then R/T models hit dealerships.